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7 Things I Will Not Miss About Vietnam

7 Things I Will Not Miss About Vietnam

Before continuing to read this, I actually liked Vietnam, so don’t take this the wrong way.

Vietnam has developed a bad rap amongst travelers, with many leaving Vietnam saying they will never be back. I think that is a bit on the extreme side, or maybe we just didn’t get the worst of it,  either way, there are some things that got under my skin in Vietnam that I most certainly won’t miss (but at the same time won’t hold me back from returning).

Related Article: Best Vietnam Destinations

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#1) Not being able to walk on the sidewalk7 things I won't miss about Vietnam-6

In Vietnam the sidewalk is for motorbike parking, it’s a place to eat, a place to do business, but most certainly it is not a place to walk! And if you happen to find an inch of sidewalk it’s only a matter of seconds before someone pulls onto the sidewalk, directly in front of you, so close it makes you stop.

I found myself saying ‘Really’ a lot while walking in Vietnam; people pulling up on the sidewalk so close it makes you say ‘REALLY, you had to be right there’, ‘REALLY ,you couldn’t wait until I was passed’…

7 things I won't miss about Vietnam

#2) The scams

Everything seems to have a variable price in Vietnam. My favorite scam was on a bus ride from Da Nang to Hue, where I paid 60,000 dong to ride the bus, but when I went to go put my bag under the bus the driver claimed I owed him 100,000 dong for my bag to ride the bus. I laughed at him and put my bag under, there was no charge he just thought I was stupid.

#3) The constant line cutting7 things I won't miss about Vietnam-5

It’s like nails against a chalkboard to me when people can’t follow simple human order. Lines and order don’t matter in Vietnam, it’s whoever pushes harder or is more bold gets ahead. Surprisingly, it’s the littlest ladies that push forward and generally just don’t care. The common trick is to look confused and wander through the line until they are at the front, just staring at their ticket, or receipt, or whatever, with a stupid look on their face (but really knowing exactly what they are doing).

I still get mad thinking about one incident in an overcrowded Vietnamese grocery store, think Walmart on black Friday… A whole family of grown up sisters must have been shopping together and one family member got into the checkout line while the rest shopped.

Each come back with a cart full, and try to butt in line with their carts. Hannah points to the back of the line, we had already been in the line 20+ mins. Guess what they do…  they then proceed to throw all items into the 1 sisters cart (directly in front of us)and do 5 transactions.

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#4) Everything being Vietnamese size7 things I won't miss about Vietnam-2

We are too big for most things in most countries, but Vietnam takes the cake in small seats, bathrooms, and pretty much everything.

#5) Motorbikes

You just won’t understand the scope of this complaint until you visit Vietnam. No Vietnam travel guide can explain this chaos. I can tell you there are millions of motorbikes, but this is something you need to see to understand.

#6) Flagrant public nose picking7 things I won't miss about Vietnam-3

From the best I can determine it is perfectly acceptable to dig in right out in the open. It seems some people even manicure their nails in a nice long and pointed fashion to assist the pick. I guess there are worse things, but then you think of the nice little lady making your sandwich…

#7) Haggling on food pricesStreet Food Tour Hanoi Vietnam-8

I am used to fighting for a deal on souvenirs and things like that while traveling, but I hate fighting and feeling like I got screwed over food. Haggling in general from absurd starting prices, our general rule of thumb in Vietnam you should pay more than 1/4 of their first asking price.

#8) Not being able to get a coffee without sugar7 things I won't miss about Vietnam-4

I know I said seven, but this is a petty one, but probably made the rest worse. After a crazy look from the waitress, I would inevitably end up with an overly sweet cup of bad coffee. I just wanted black coffee, no sugar… please.

Other than that Vietnam was great! We just wanted to share with you a few things to know before traveling to Vietnam. 

Clazz - An Orcadian Abroad

Monday 1st of August 2016

See, I actually miss the honking!! I think it's because it encapsulated the chaos of the cities and I loved that part of it. Not sure I miss trying to cross roads though! And the pavement part I definitely agree with haha.


Sunday 30th of October 2016

The chaos in Vietnam is real that's for sure. I loved Vietnam and can't wait to go back but after a month there some things just real get to you!

Greg Wilton

Tuesday 17th of May 2016

Found this conversation whilst trying to find the actual reason for the lighting of the lanterns that float into the sky. Been twice and thinking of retiring in Vietnam. Never a problem with the people, food or any of the different experiences. It,s what travelling is all about. We asked about the local coffee at our hotel and if they could get some for us to take home. They got a kilo in a paper bag when we arrived back that night. $7 Thahks very much. Try and get it for tha t price back home (Australia) We said we couldn't take it through customs. The next morning it was in a sealed bag. We found the same brand in the markets on our second trip and bought another supply. We loved sitting on the short stools on the sidewalk having tea (served by the old ladies ) Boiled and served in front of you so you know it's ok. They do the same with coffee so you are able to say no or shake your hands to say no to sugar, milk, mint or anything extra that they want to add to your drink. No language necessary. Enjoyed every minute and miss it all including the traffic, smells and most of all the food.


Monday 22nd of February 2016

So many things sounds like in Indonesia :D I'm curious what you won't miss from Indonesia :)

Sasha | Do you even tourist?

Wednesday 3rd of February 2016

Too true!! The noise and motorbikes drives me mental! We lived in Saigon for over a month and finally realized we had to move on. Although we also had a love hate relationship! I hear ya on the coffee. Ill go to a restaurant and ask for vegetarian food, a coffee with no sugar and fresh milk, oh and no straw. You can imagine how messed up my order turns out! :P But I dont blame them. Thankfully i didn't witness the nose.pickers!!


Tuesday 7th of April 2015

Hey Hannah,

I agree with most everything, except #8. You can always order black coffee at cafes in VN. It's called "cafe den" on the menu, or if they don't have a menu, just ask for "cafe den"; if you want it cold, then ask for "cafe den da". I go to Vietnam almost every year since my family lives there; I'm a heavy coffee drinker so I go out for coffee every morning, but I have not been to a place (either fancy cafe or sidewalk cafe) that doesn't offer black coffee. In fact, I usually have coffee with my aunt and/or cousin when I'm home; I like mine sweeter with condensed milk, but they always drink theirs black. So, I think you are mistaken if you say that you can't order coffee without sugar.